Chapter 4: Administering meds
Giving medication by mouth – Under the tongue or in liquid form
I couldn’t help but think as I gave my mom her medicine and watched her face express her distaste, “How many times did she see me do this when I was little, when she had to give me my cough medicine?” I used to hate it.
Sometimes medications must be given under the tongue for a variety of reasons, for example:
- The patient has difficulty swallowing.
- Faster absorption into the bloodstream is needed.
- The specific type of medication requires it.
Follow the procedures below for administering either a pill, tablet, or liquid medications under the tongue. Click the arrows to view.
Before administering the medication
1. Ensure you are giving the right medication with the right dose at the right time.
2. Wash and dry your hands before you begin and after you are done.
3. Put on medical gloves.
4. Look inside the mouth to ensure it is clean and moist. If not, provide mouth care (as described in Chapter 1 of Module 6).
Steps for administering medication under the tongue
Click the arrows to view.
1. If using a tablet or pill, place the tablet under the tongue.
2. If you are giving a prefilled liquid syringe, ensure you are giving the right medication with the right dose at the right time.
3. If you don’t have prefilled syringes, measure the prescribed amount in a small syringe.
4. Squirt the liquid under the tongue or in the pocket between the teeth and the cheek.
5. Ask your person not to swallow the medication once placed in the mouth. For good absorption, the medication should stay in place as long as possible.
6. Don’t worry if some of the medication is accidentally swallowed.
Watch the video for a demonstration and for tips on administering medications in pill, tablet, or liquid form under the tongue.Helpful resources